Drug or alcohol addiction may cause stress and disruption in otherwise healthy and loving relationships. Addiction and toxic relationships are often related, with drug addiction co-occurring with intimate partner abuse in 40-60% of instances. However, it may also affect other relationships.
Addiction and toxic relationships are inextricably linked, producing a terrible cycle. Change occurs when the addict, or their family and friends, decide to quit the addict’s damaging effect on relationships.
What Does a Toxic Relationship Look Like?
Toxic relationships contain bad conduct and control patterns, selfishness, manipulation, and abuse, whether with a love partner, family member, or friend. Toxic relationships may take many forms, ranging from your spouse or significant other to members of your family or the individuals that make up your social circle. Around 84 percent of women have at least one toxic buddy who encourages them to engage in self-destructive and harmful habits. One or both persons engaged in a toxic relationship suffer.
As a consequence of addiction, toxic relationships may develop. As a consequence of your dysfunctional connection with someone, you may resort to drugs or alcohol to numb unpleasant feelings, or they may urge you to take illegal substances to exert control over you or your relationship.
Drugs and alcohol may poison your relationships with your loved ones in any situation, leading to codependency, enabling, and other destructive behaviors. Drugs and relationships just do not mix.
What is Codependency?
If you’ve never heard of the word, you may be wondering what it means.
Psychiatric doctors define codependency as an excessive emotional or psychological dependency on another person in your life, usually a partner or spouse. This might be because one partner has an accident or disease that needs continual attention, or it could be the consequence of or induce drug or alcohol addiction, as is more typical.
Codependent relationships are unhealthy and one-sided, in which one spouse meets all of the other’s emotional needs while not being satisfied or even considered.
The word codependency was coined to characterize the spouses of people with alcohol addictions. Still, it has now been broadened to cover cases of codependency in people with other addictions and the general public. When codependency is present, substance addiction and relationships go hand in hand.
What are the Signs of a Toxic Relationship?
If a relationship makes you feel horrible most of the time, or if you’re constantly belittled, controlled, or unable to live without that person.
Whether you’re not sure if your relationship is toxic, keep an eye out for the following warning flags:
- Jealousy: While jealousy is a typical emotion, it crosses a boundary in toxic relationships. Your spouse may lash out at you or feel intimidated by your other connections.
- Volatility: The other person may exhibit intense responses or behaviors that seem to be overpowering. You could feel that you have to walk on eggshells around them to prevent them from behaving erratically.
- Are you isolated from your friends, family, and other people? Do you have to pick between your relationship and others?
- Manipulation: Manipulation may be at the foundation of your relationships if you feel that your spouse is trying to influence your choices, feelings, and behaviors. Your lover may even attempt to persuade you to do things you don’t want to.
- Belittling: Belittling is anything that makes you feel horrible about yourself, whether it’s nasty comments made as a joke or aggressive name-calling.
- Guilting: Everyone is accountable for their thoughts and emotions. Your lover is guilting you if they try to make you feel like everything is your fault. If you don’t do what they say, they may threaten to harm themselves.
- Betrayal: Betrayal may take many forms, including deception, lying, and cheating.
What Role Does Drug and Alcohol Abuse Play in Relationships?
There are two basic relationship types associated with the addiction cycle:
Enabling is when an addict’s close friends or family members engage in destructive conduct. They end up accepting and cooperating with the detrimental conduct to help. This might include providing money, shelter, emotional support, and delivering drugs or alcohol to an addicted loved one.
Secure or Insecure Attachment Style
Your attachment type develops throughout childhood and shapes your interactions with others. If you were raised in an emotionally healthy family, you may trust people and build good connections later in life. Insecure attachment occurs when your caregiver fails to respond to your physical and emotional needs. Addiction and unhealthy relationships are more likely among those with an insecure attachment style.
It is feasible to modify enabling behavior or insecure attachment once you notice it. The essential thing is to recognize how your interpersonal interactions play a role in the addiction cycle.
Getting out of a Toxic Relationship
What happens now that you’ve discovered the toxic relationship in your life? Here are some suggestions for breaking up with addiction and toxic relationships:
Remember That Having a Family isn’t Mandatory
Things might get significantly more tricky when the toxic person in your life is a family member. Even when your family has done things that have injured you or are bad for you, it’s typical to feel a great sense of duty towards them. Remember that just because they’re your family doesn’t mean you have to spend time with them or devote emotional energy to them.
Feelings Should be Expressed
Tell the individual why you’re disengaging or taking a step back from them. Instead of stating, “you make me unhappy,” say, “I feel sad when you do this,” to take control of your feelings.
Seek Professional Advice and Assistance
Couples therapy and talking to your therapist about your concerns are fantastic strategies to make sure you’re taking care of yourself while simultaneously attempting to save your relationship or assist someone in becoming conscious of their toxic behavior. It may be beneficial to seek advice from a mental health professional, especially if the connection is long-term or involves someone you know. We at __ are here to help you with this!
Maintain Your Decision
When you decide to remove a toxic person from your life, you may experience tremendous emotions. You could feel guilty, sad, relieved, furious, humiliated, or any mix of these emotions (and more!). Remember that you made this choice for a purpose, regardless of how you’re feeling. While this person may not have been toxic 100% of the time, their behaviors were enough to jeopardize your recovery and mental health, which is never acceptable. Keep the choice you made for yourself in mind.
Be Accountable to Someone
Allowing someone inside the situation is crucial for many reasons. Not only will you have someone to assist you in getting through it, but you’ll also have someone to remind you why you cut ties with the toxic person if and when you start to miss them.
Get Professional Help
Toxic relationships are a common side effect of substance abuse, many times the people you keep closest are the same ones that keep you held down in a bad place. Sometimes breaking up with these relationships is the healthiest decision you can make for yourself, even if it seems like the hardest decision.
The best way to break free from toxic relationships and overcome the hardships of addiction is by getting professional help. If you’re in the Southern California area, or you just need to get away for a little while (we’ve all been there), call The Right Time Recovery at 800-630-1218.